The Only Thing That Unites Us is a "Match"
Around 10 years ago, we started to adopt new ways of communicating, interacting, and connecting via social media and over the internet. The creation of web pages like MySpace or Hi5 set the foundation for current titans like Facebook and Instagram. In these social networks, it's normal to connect and communicate with people you know in real life and with individuals who have common interests.
Let us take a jump in time from 2003 to today, 2021.
With technology and internet access advancing steadily, human interactions have become mechanical and somewhat robotic on these social media platforms.
Nowadays, there are many different ways of expanding your social circles and meeting new people outside your bubble or comfort zone. There is a wide range of apps and communities available to serve these purposes, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble.
When starting a new interaction with a match or someone you have met online, there are the usual greetings, conversations about common topics, how long they've been using the application, and what they're hoping to get out of it. Then, after all the small talk, the conversation can go two ways: 1) chat more about common interests and get to know each other better, or 2) the other person could stop responding because they lost interest or found someone else. Keep in mind that the same could happen during in-person interactions.
These new ways of interacting and the digital mediums in which they take place create psychological conflicts for those involved, such as ending up with no "matches", having few interactions with others, being 'ghosted', or being left with no reply. These conflicts and situations leave us emotionally exposed, often affecting our self-confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth. But know that these unsuccessful relationships or social interactions are not a significant loss; nor should they represent or be an attack on our self-esteem and self-worth.
While it's great to have these applications to meet potential partners and find what we are looking for, we must bear in mind that the only thing that unites you and the other person is an algorithmic or intentional match, nothing more and nothing less. There is no requirement, commitment, or agreement to continue with the interaction because of the match.
By this, I do not mean that the relationships we start online are disposable and meaningless, but by being exposed to a greater number of people or potential matches, the probability of rejection or finding a mismatch will also increase.
We must also keep in mind that the reasons to use these applications vary from person to person. For example:
Not everyone you meet is going to be a good match. The goal is to learn from these relationships and interactions and continue to search until you match with the right person.
It is not your responsibility to manage the perceptions that others have of you, nor the decisions and actions they make.
Your responsibility is to manage yourself, focus on what you say and do, and continue to work on the areas that you want to improve about yourself.
Rejection hurts, liking someone and not being liked back hurts, having the other person leave during a date hurts, but how much it hurts and for how long is totally up to you.
Author - Carlos Curiel